The “PHP-Approved” Assessment and Treatment Center Gravy Train

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 4.51.59 AMvia The “PHP-Approved” Assessment and Treatment Center Gravy Train

List of “PHP-Approved” assessment and treatment centers

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)  House of Delegates adopted an updated Policy on Physician Impairment at their 2011 annual meeting distinguishing “impairment” and “illness” stating that “..Regulatory Agencies should recognize the PHP [physician health programs] as their expert in all matters relating to licensed professionals with “potentially impairing illness.”  In 2011 The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)  issued a Public Policy Statement on coordination between physician health programs (PHPs), medical boards and treatment providers recommending  only “PHP approved” treatment centers be used in the assessment and treatment of doctors.    The Federation of State Physician Health Programs (FSPHP)  is an appendage of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)  and the FSPHP cultivated a relationship with the  Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) in the mid 1990s by offering  “treatment” rather than”punishment” and the influence on regulatory medicine can be historically and systematically tracked  in the  Journal of Medical Regulation and similar publications.  This group gained a seat at the table by  by touting grandiose success rates in treating “addicted doctors.” The  Washington  PHP claimed a success rate of  95.4%,  Tennessee   93% and Alabama  90%.   These breathtaking success rates were attributed to specialized treatment centers for doctors such as Ridgeview where they required inpatient stays lasting three times longer than average folks; cash-on-the-barrel and at three times the cost mind you. The truth is the majority of doctors referred for assessments do not meet the diagnostic criteria for problems they are receiving treatment.  It is unneeded. Very few are “addicts.”  Most of those being referred to these programs are like Leonard Masters who was accused of overprescribing and was told by the director of the Florida PHP he could either relinquish his license or have an evaluation. Masters chose the evaluation thinking he would be returning in 4-days.  but was diagnosed as an alcoholic and spent 4-months.  The man didn’t even have a drinking problem!   He successfully sued G. Douglas Talbott and the facility for false imprisonment, malpractice and fraud.

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